Statement by Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos
It is disappointing, but certainly not unexpected, that New York did not receive any money from the federal Race to the Top program. New York’s application for up to $700 million in federal money was put at an extreme disadvantage earlier this month when Democrats in the Senate and Assembly refused to pass legislation to lift the cap on charter schools,
Senate Republicans supported the Governor’s Race To The Top proposal, as well as legislation sponsored by Senator Martin Golden, that would have raised the cap and taken other actions to maximize the state’s opportunity for federal funds.
While New York struck out in round one, there is time to improve the state’s position to receive money from round two. The Legislature should raise the cap on charter schools as part of the state budget. This would maximize the state’s bid to receive federal money during the 2010-11 fiscal year and afford us an opportunity to help our schools and provide real property tax relief.